Coffee Break

A Business Temprament: Marketing Your Artistic Sensibilities


From a business perspective, design and creativity are usually relegated to the marketing teams. But what about those that are self-employed creatives, such as graphic designers, cartoonists or even professional artists that set up exhibitions? That last one is an interesting one. With more and more galleries struggling to keep afloat in these difficult times it is encouraging artists to open their own exhibitions. They have to adopt a more business-centred approach. It seems that now more than ever in all sectors of the arts community that having background knowledge in business is an essential trait to have to succeed as a creative. To some, this may sound like two conflicting ideas. But it is more commonplace now than ever before. So here’s a quick guide regarding setting up your own art space or somewhere to exhibit your creations.

Get Insurance

When you approach any venue to display your work you need to have public liability insurance. For example, if you are a sculptor and one of your works injures a member of the public, you are liable. There are websites you can purchase insurance through that can cover you for a specific period of time. Or you can purchase insurance for one-off exhibition if you do not want to be covered for a year or longer.

Choose A Venue To Display Your Work

Many artists practice on a tight budget. So you do not need to think about going straight to an art gallery if it is out of your price range. There are many art centres, restaurants, cafes and bars that are effective when it comes to having potential viewers of your work.  Another plus is that sometimes these venues won’t charge you to exhibit your work.  When it comes to choosing a venue, make sure it’s in keeping with your style and seems that runs through your work.  Otherwise, your work may go unnoticed.

Arrange To Meet The Owner Of The Venue

Once you’ve decided on your ideal venue and you speak to the proprietor during the least busy period of their working day. Make sure you take images of your work in a handy portfolio and explain why your work will benefit them as well as you. As far as the finances are concerned, you can confirm a commission rate that can go to the venue, such as 20% of any piece sold. Make sure it is verbally agreed, or if the venue provides contracts then that is more official.

Set Up Your Space

Are you displaying items that are more than paintings that you can hang on the wall? If so you need to agree with the proprietor that you can make adjustments to space. Such as drilling holes or changing the floor space by using different materials, like resin.  You can have a look at the Resdev Flooring Blog to get some inspiration on the different ways you can work with floor spaces of materials such as this.

The last point when he comes to marketing yourself as an artist is simply that. Market yourself.  Communicate via social media. Advertise locally. And promote within the circles that you feel would benefit most from this exhibition.  Business and arts have more in common now than they ever did before, so it is time to learn about both!